Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi has said she would request the HRD ministry to include information on prevention of human trafficking in school textbooks.
The minister said this during a discussion in Lok Sabha on the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill.
House passes Bill
The Bill was later passed by the assembly through a voice vote. Members of different political parties were in favour of it.
The minister said that textbooks now have information about the POCSO Act and “good touch” and “bad touch,” reported Indian Express. “I would request the HRD Ministry to put some information on the anti-trafficking law in the textbooks as well,” she added.
Gandhi assured the members that she would incorporate all the suggestions and also improvise on what had been flagged during the discussion.
Some Congress leaders, including Mallikarjun Kharge and Shashi Tharoor, demanded that the Bill be sent to a standing committee but she said it has been “long overdue”.
What does the Bill say?
The Bill ensures confidentiality of victims, witnesses and complainants. It also provides for time-bound trials and rehabilitation of victims.
Besides human trafficking, forced labour, begging and marriage, it also provides for attachment of property and the proceeds of crime.
The minister said, “Often we get to see at traffic lights that women are begging holding a baby which is drugged and sleeping and is being fed milk. They are hired on an hourly or daily basis.”
Gandhi introduced the Bill by saying, “When 11-year-old Tara is trafficked from her village and sold into bonded labour, beaten and burnt by her owner, how do we save her? When she is sold to marriage to a 45-year-old man and raped everyday for months, how do we save her? We have no institutions, no processes to do so. And today if we are not passing this Bill, we are choosing to deny Tara and all the millions like her fundamental right to life and liberty.”
Kriti Dwivedi is an intern with SheThePeople.Tv